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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Guarding the scottish homelands  (Read 2372 times)
5niper9
Member

Posts: 65

My name is René.


« on: June 22, 2007, 02:30:42 PM »

Hello,

I played Sorcerer with my Indie-Game-group recently and it was a success.

Group & Setting<
Char-gen:<
Preparation:<http://games.spaceanddeath.com/sin_aesthetics/54)

All I had in mind was the shiny Knight (Jack) and the sly british forces who had prepared their attack through bribery.
Meredith was bribed to kill Connors Dad [Edwin had described the parents of Connor on pretty bad terms].
Julia noticed the bribery and wanted her piece of cake, but was raped by the british prince while she tried to blackmail the man who bribed Meredith.
Jack is on the other side of the map in connection with the british king (as the leader of the troopes) and the british prince (as an idol).

I know it is quite extreme, but I wanted this game to rock and roll and so the scenario needs emotional explosives.

Result:<
Recapitulation:

As I look back on it I would say it was a success. My main criterium is that Anna and Edwin want to play again and I think we will.

Further Thoughts:
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The Dragon Master
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Posts: 115


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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2007, 05:19:53 PM »

Maybe this is nitpicking, but what definition did you choose for humanity? And in what way did summoning the demons require a test of your humanity (which is to say, what "inhuman" act did you have to perform to summon them)?
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"You get what everone gets. You get a lifetime." -Death of the Endless
The names Tony

Sorcerer Workshop, Phoenix Comicon, May 27th - 30th 2010
5niper9
Member

Posts: 65

My name is René.


« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2007, 01:34:32 AM »

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Jon Hastings
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Posts: 95


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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2007, 03:55:04 AM »

Hi Rene,

I'm glad your first session went well.  It sounds like you all had fun.

Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2007, 06:50:57 AM »

Hello,

Well, it looks like you and your group are Sorcerer's target audience! I'm really glad to learn about your game.

The answer to your question is that social conflicts are properly resolved using dice just like any and all other conflicts in Sorcerer. However, this must be reconciled with the key point in Sorcerer that no one can dictate the actual behavior of someone else's character. There's a great old thread about this somewhere in the Adept Press forum, which I'll try to summarize here.

The first thing to understand is that if a suggestion or command from one character to another is not objectionable to the target (i.e. they are inclined to do it anyway), then there is no conflict and no roll is necessary.

Now for the fun part. When any non-demon characters are engaged in legitimate conflict about what one or another of them will or must do, then roll the dice as normal, using the ordering rules and all other details just as in combat. The loser of such a conflict is assessed for damage penalties.

Now, the player of this character has a choice: the character may obey the terms of the conflict's loss, and those penalties vanish; or the character may continue to take action in line with his or her original statements, but in doing so, accept the penalties inflicted by the victor's roll.

Example

Frank, a player-character, is confronted by James, his enemy, and Philip, James' friend; both are NPCs. Frank tells Philip (truly or falsely, doesn't matter for our purposes) that James is planning to kill him, so he (Philip) should fight James with him (Frank).

Frank wins the roll, with (let's say) three victories. The GM now has a choice. He may state that Philip is convinced by Frank, and changes his behavior to fight with Frank against James. Or, he may state that Philip will continue to fight with James, i.e., not have his original behavior altered, but in so doing, Philip's attack against Frank will suffer three dice of penalties.

Does that help, or make sense?

If so, then consider as well that demon characters do not get this choice. If they are commanded to do anything by a sorcerer, then they must do it. Binding strength operates as a bonus in their favor if the commanding sorcerer is not their Binder. They don't have to do it for long - one action is usually all the sorcerer can get out of them, unless other issues apply (i.e. they were already trying to rebel against their Binder) - but they do in fact have to do it.

Once your players understand this, then complex conflicts with more than one sorcerer and more than one demon become utterly unpredictable. No one can foretell who will command whom to do what.

Best, Ron

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5niper9
Member

Posts: 65

My name is René.


« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2007, 08:13:38 AM »

As I think about the rules they seem more and more like a big fat bomb ready to explode.
And that's pretty cool.

So one of the keys is: "Demons are the only ones, who have to obey when a command is given."
Right?
Everyone else can be influenced, but not controlled.

To transfer this to my example: The Guard in front of a door.
Frank wants to get through the door. Frank wins the social conflict by three victories. As he wants to move by, the guard starts to attack him (because he fears his master and he said nobody may get through this door). The attack roll is lessen by three dice or, if his stamina score should be lesser than 4, he rolls one die and the difference between Franks victory and the guards Stamina plus one is added to Franks roll. [This sounds terrible complicated, but it is not.]
I hope I'm right.


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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2007, 08:45:00 AM »

quote]Frank wants to get through the door. Frank wins the social conflict by three victories. As he wants to move by, the guard starts to attack him (because he fears his master and he said nobody may get through this door). The attack roll is lessen by three dice or, if his stamina score should be lesser than 4, he rolls one die and the difference between Franks victory and the guards Stamina plus one is added to Franks roll. [This sounds terrible complicated, but it is not.]
I hope I'm right.

That is correct, beautiful, and perfect.

Regarding Premise, I think it's both closer and more constant than you're currently perceiving. Sorcerer is a bit different from games like Polaris. Everything you say about the "critical" score of Humanity is correct, but in fact, every value is critical. Every action taken which increases or decreases Humanity is a source of consequences, in terms of upcoming situations. This is one of the arts of play - that to everyone at the table, when they see that value increase or decrease, is primed and attentive to the consequences, which is to say, "what happens next."

If, for instance, a character is at Humanity 4, and loses a point, it is indeed significant. Why? Because this might be a momentary lapse, "just this once," or it might be a warning-glimpse and prompt very different behavior in the future, or it might be the opened door to similar choices made ... perhaps quite soon. That is completely and totally up to the player, but it's also up to the other people at the table, because whatever situation arises next which has Humanity-heavy consequences, will not be absolutely identical to the last one.

All of this is to agree as well with your identification of Humanity as a pacing mechanism, but its rate is established internally, through the SIS, far more so than in Polaris. My favorite analogy is with theme music. Raising or lowering Humanity (or really, even just calling for a roll of either kind) corresponds to that character's theme music ... and the volume and underlying tension of the music in any particular moment depends on (a) the current value of the score and also (b) the nature of all changes in the score so far.

Best, Ro
Quote
Frank wants to get through the door. Frank wins the social conflict by three victories. As he wants to move by, the guard starts to attack him (because he fears his master and he said nobody may get through this door). The attack roll is lessen by three dice or, if his stamina score should be lesser than 4, he rolls one die and the difference between Franks victory and the guards Stamina plus one is added to Franks roll. [This sounds terrible complicated, but it is not.]
I hope I'm right.[/quote]

That is correct, beautiful, and perfect.

Regarding Premise, I think it's both closer and more constant than you're currently perceiving. Sorcerer is a bit different from games like Polaris. Everything you say about the "critical" score of Humanity is correct, but in fact, every value is critical. Every action taken which increases or decreases Humanity is a source of consequences, in terms of upcoming situations. This is one of the arts of play - that to everyone at the table, when they see that value increase or decrease, is primed and attentive to the consequences, which is to say, "what happens next."

If, for instance, a character is at Humanity 4, and loses a point, it is indeed significant. Why? Because this might be a momentary lapse, "just this once," or it might be a warning-glimpse and prompt very different behavior in the future, or it might be the opened door to similar choices made ... perhaps quite soon. That is completely and totally up to the player, but it's also up to the other people at the table, because whatever situation arises next which has Humanity-heavy consequences, will not be absolutely identical to the last one.

All of this is to agree as well with your identification of Humanity as a pacing mechanism, but its rate is established internally, through the SIS, far more so than in Polaris. My favorite analogy is with theme music. Raising or lowering Humanity (or really, even just calling for a roll of either kind) corresponds to that character's theme music ... and the volume and underlying tension of the music in any particular moment depends on (a) the current value of the score and also (b) the nature of all changes in the score so far.

Best, Ron
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5niper9
Member

Posts: 65

My name is René.


« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2007, 09:26:18 AM »

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5niper9
Member

Posts: 65

My name is René.


« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2007, 01:11:20 PM »

Hello Ron,

I'm sorry. In my last post I misread the word value for another stat - like stamina or will - whereas you talked about every score of humanity.
Although this source of confusion is now destroyed I still cannot grab the whole of your post.
Where is the connection between the humanity (of one character) and the other player?
As I read your post, you say that every roll for or against humanity is a getting used to what triggers a h-check and what triggers a h-gain - which makes absolute sense, but I see not how this leads to "what happens next".

Well, let's try to work on an example:
Frank comes home after years and years of practicing sorcery and meets his father on the marketplace, but does not recognize him. The father barges into him and the pride of Frank drives him to kill this man. Its absolutely time for an humanity-check. We roll humanity-vs-humanity and (let's say) he loses. We take away one of his humanity score.
 
Now, what about the other players? What are the consequences? What happens next?
Does Frank have to marry his mother because of this?
I typed this just for fun - but is it one of the things you talk about?


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hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2007, 02:38:58 PM »

Maybe Ron's talking about the effect of that action on the other player characters and the rest of the game world.

What if one of the PCs is the mother? What if one of the PCs is the son from the father's other family? How do they react to the (possibly) Humanity-changing act of killing the father?

What if the father was valuable to one of the big NPCs in the game? How does that NPC respond, and what pressures does she put on the other PCs?

How do the other PCs treat this murderer now? How do they treat him after they find out he's killed his father?

Hopefully all of these things raise further opportunities for Humanity-checks by placing pressure on the PCs to make decisions.
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2007, 06:15:44 PM »

Another cool thing about humanity in Sorcerer is that it's significant even when you're not rolling the dice.  Just considering the potential impact of an action on your humanity is an important part of esteblishing them.  In a recent game in which humanity was defined as "what makes humans different from other animals", a character killed a man to stop the authorities finding out about her.  But because it was a premeditated, calculated act, there was no humanity roll.  Later, she punched a police-woman in the face, then pistol-whipped her to the ground, in order to get away.  She could have gone quietly.  This caused a humanity roll, because it was an impulsive, fight-or-flight reaction.  What was cool was that in both cases, I felt like we were establishing the thematic parameters of the game.  When she punched the police-woman, (and lost humanity) it felt like the game had taken a significant step, like, together we'd stepped into a dangerous, animalistic place. 
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